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Blogs by Nutritionists

Benefits of Millets in Summer

by True Elements 23 Apr 2024
Assorted millet grains - sorghum, barnyard, and kodo millet

Stay Cool and Healthy with Summer Millets: Enjoy the Benefits

With the arrival of summer, it's essential to adjust your diet by incorporating ingredients that are both cooling and nutritious. This is where summer millets come into play. Here are five varieties of summer millets perfect for the summer season that you should consider trying: sorghum (Jowar), foxtail millet, kodo millet, finger millet (Ragi), and barnyard millet.

Varieties of Summer Millet: Explore Different Types and Uses

1. Sorghum Millet (Jowar)

Sorghum, a nutritious summer millet, is a popular choice during the summer months in India, often used to make rotis and bread. Its rich nutritional profile, including protein, iron, and fibres, is enhanced by the presence of policosanols. One of the significant sorghum benefits for summers is its ability to lower cholesterol levels.
Jowar or sorghum is not only beneficial for the brain but also aids in weight loss, making it an ideal summer millet option. For those allergic to wheat, sorghum millet serves as a healthier alternative, rich in vitamin B1, calories, and macronutrients. Incorporating sorghum into your diet can enhance metabolism and overall health during the summer. Consider enjoying snacks like crackers, noodles, and namkeen made from jowar millet for a wholesome summer experience.

sorghum millet

2. Foxtail Millet (Kangni)

Also referred to as kangni or kakum, foxtail millet, a summer millet is available in rice flour or semolina form. Incorporating this summer millet into your diet can boost overall immunity. Rich in iron and carbohydrates, foxtail millet aids in blood sugar regulation, making it a valuable addition to your summer meals. From cookies to noodles, dosa mix, and more, foxtail millet offers both flavor and health benefits.

Its lightness and easy digestibility make foxtail millet an ideal choice for summer. In addition to promoting heart health, this cooling millet variety also enhances skin and hair health. Explore delicious foxtail millet recipes tailored for hot weather and opt for lighter meals to beat the summer heat.

foxtail millet

3. Kodo Millet

Kodo millet, another easily digestible variant perfect for summer, is rich in lecithin amino acid, benefiting the nervous system. Packed with B vitamins like B6, niacin, and folic acid, it's a summer superfood that can help prevent heatstroke.

Being gluten-free, kodo millet is an excellent choice for those with gluten intolerance, making it a versatile summer millet option. For those aiming for weight loss, kodo millet salads are a tasty and nutritious addition to summer meals. Enjoy delicious kodo millet vegetable pulao while effectively managing your weight and staying cool in the summer heat.

kodo millet

4. Finger Millet (Ragi)

Finger millet, commonly known as ragi, is favored by fitness enthusiasts for its protein-rich profile. Gluten-free and packed with amino acids, ragi offers a nutritious alternative to rice or wheat. Explore ragi recipes tailored for summer nutrition, such as ragi porridge, to keep your body cool in the summer heat. Additionally, ragi noodles and pasta packs provide a convenient source of plant-based protein, making them ideal for summer meals.
For summer hydration, consider enjoying ragi buttermilk, a refreshing drink packed with the goodness of finger millet. Ragi is also beneficial for growing children, supporting brain development with its high calcium content and balanced iron and mineral profile. Incorporating ragi into summer meals can enhance nutrition and help beat the heat.

finger (ragi) millet

5. Barnyard Millet

Barnyard millet, also known as sanwa, is rich in vitamin B, calcium, iron, and minerals, making it a popular choice in fasting diets and summer millet options. Its high dietary fibre content promotes bowel movement and aids in weight loss, making it an excellent addition to summer meals. Additionally, the presence of phosphorus supports bone density, contributing to overall bone health.

During the summer, barnyard millet's low carb levels are particularly beneficial, reducing the risk of heart disease and aiding individuals with Type 2 diabetes. Explore barnyard millet porridge recipes tailored for summer to enjoy this nutritious treat while staying cool and healthy. Incorporating barnyard millet into your summer diet can enhance nutrition and support overall well-being.

barnyard millet

The Benefits of Adding Summer Millets to Your Diet: A Quick Guide

1. Cooling Effect: Summer millets, renowned for their natural cooling properties, are an excellent choice for hot weather, ensuring comfort and well-being by regulating body temperature.

2. Prevention of Heat-related Illnesses: Packed with essential nutrients like magnesium, iron, and potassium, summer millets help maintain electrolyte balance and hydration levels, crucial for preventing heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

3. Energy Boost: Combatting summer fatigue and decreased appetite, summer millets provide easily digestible energy, boosting vitality during warmer months.

4. Blood Pressure Regulation: Elevated temperatures can disrupt electrolyte balance, impacting blood pressure. Summer millets, rich in magnesium and potassium, help regulate blood pressure, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases associated with hypertension.

5. Blood Sugar Management: Managing blood sugar levels is challenging in summer for individuals with diabetes. Summer millets, with their low glycemic index and high fibre content, stabilize blood sugar levels, preventing spikes and reducing diabetes-related complications.

6. Weight Management: With their high fibre content and low calorie count, summer millets are ideal for weight management, promoting satiety and controlling calorie intake.

7. Environmental Sustainability: Summer millets are environmentally friendly crops, requiring minimal water and inputs compared to other grains, supporting sustainable farming practices and environmental conservation efforts.

Easy Summer Millet Recipes: A Range of Flavors for Your Meals

Ragi (Finger Millet) Porridge:

  • Prepare ragi flour in water or milk until thick and creamy.
  • Sweeten with jaggery or sugar, and add a pinch of cardamom powder for flavor.
  • Garnish with chopped nuts and dried fruits to enhance texture and nutrition.

Foxtail Millet Upma:

  • Dry roast summer millet until lightly golden and fragrant.
  • In a pan, sauté onions, green chilies, and curry leaves in oil until translucent.
  • Add chopped vegetables like carrots, peas, and capsicum and cook until tender.
  • Add soaked and drained foxtail millet, water, salt, and cook until the millet is soft and fluffy. Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves.

Sorghum (Jowar) Salad:

• Cook summer millet grains in water until tender.

• Let them cool and toss with diced cucumber, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers.

• Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve as a nutritious summer millet salad.

Barnyard Millet Khichdi:

• Cook summer millet and moong dal together in a pressure cooker until soft.

• In a separate pan, heat ghee and add cumin seeds, ginger, and green chilies.

• Add chopped vegetables like carrots, peas, and potatoes, and sauté until cooked.

• Mix the cooked millet and dal with the vegetables, add salt and spices, and simmer for a few minutes. Serve hot with yogurt or pickle.

Kodo Millet Pulao:

• Rinse summer millet and soak for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

• In a pan, heat ghee and add whole spices like cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.

• Add chopped onions, tomatoes, and green chilies, and sauté until soft.

• Add soaked summer millet, water, salt, and cook until the millet is cooked and the water is absorbed.

• Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with raita or curry.

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